What's new

Coronavirus: Impact on Theme Parks

JammyH

Member
Everybody has been saying personal distancing is going to be normal for the foreseeable future, until a treatment or vaccine is readily available. So potentially the rest of this year a least. I have seen that they could be thinking of reducing the distance to 1.5m instead though.
Agreed. Companies like merlin etc would not be setting up distancing markers and social distancing regulations in the UK parks for a 4th July opening if the 2m rule was going to be abandoned.

What happened was that pubs demanded that the 2m rule was reduced down to 1m so they could operate on higher capacity. Boris Johnson said yes, but then Chris Whitty quickly jumped in and said no.

As you have said, if anything the distance will get reduced to 1.5m as per the rules in Europe and akin to WHO advice, but there is no way social distancing is going away any time soon. We pretty much have to wait for a treatment or a vaccine to come around and that’s looking like it would be at the end of this year/beginning of next year in the best possible case scenario. There’s the possibility the virus runs it’s own course and slowly kills itself off, but because it’s so deadly, I highly doubt that society would be willing to take the risk and scrap social distancing until we are sure that fatalities can be reduced significantly.
 

rob666

Member
There are already signs from other nations that reductions in social distancing are causing infection rates to rise again.
Do not bank on things reopening in June and July.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
There are already signs from other nations that reductions in social distancing are causing infection rates to rise again.
Do not bank on things reopening in June and July.
Which nations are these? Germany’s R number is still below 1, as are all the other countries like Austria and Denmark that have eased measures for some time. There’s naturally going to be a slight rise in R with easing of measures, but as long as it doesn’t get above 1 for too long, then that doesn’t really matter.
 

JammyH

Member
Which nations are these? Germany’s R number is still below 1, as are all the other countries like Austria and Denmark that have eased measures for some time. There’s naturally going to be a slight rise in R with easing of measures, but as long as it doesn’t get above 1 for too long, then that doesn’t really matter.
They haven’t reduced the distance between parties though. It has remained at 1.5m the whole time.

Yes they’ve got their economies up and running again, as we will do in the UK, but the 1.5m distance between people has to stay in place so that the r rate doesn’t go above 1 again.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
They haven’t reduced the distance between parties though. It has remained at 1.5m the whole time.

Yes they’ve got their economies up and running again, as we will do in the UK, but the 1.5m distance between people has to stay in place so that the r rate doesn’t go above 1 again.
Apparently China reduced the distance to 1m, and even though they’ve seen a few small clusters, numbers haven’t skyrocketed again like some expected.
 

JammyH

Member
Apparently China reduced the distance to 1m, and even though they’ve seen a few small clusters, numbers haven’t skyrocketed again like some expected.
Thank you, I didn’t realise that. Although in china pretty much everyone wears masks which would reassure me that the distance is safer to be reduced, unlike here where we don’t wear masks and therefore the distance (in my opinion) needs to be maintained to prevent spread of infection.
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
I take it they’re still saying that theme parks can open on 4th July, though, alongside the likes of pubs, restaurants and cinemas?
 
I take it they’re still saying that theme parks can open on 4th July, though, alongside the likes of pubs, restaurants and cinemas?
Yes... They’ve closed a potential loop hole that meant theme park’s never technically had to close from the looks of things...

However remember that date is a ‘from date’ when they intend to begin allowing some hospitality and leisure businesses to open, in stages, should there be no rise in R0... Exactly which businesses can open at what stages from that date is yet to be confirmed... It’s hoped that with the governments ‘outdoors is safe’ attitude, theme parks, zoos etc, could be in the first stage, with outdoor cafes, restaurants and beer gardens also rumoured to be early. But nothing is certain yet.
 

JammyH

Member
All the German and Dutch parks were extremely busy today, and I have read several reports online that most people at the parks weren't sticking to the measures, making a miserable day for all of those who are sticking to the protective measures. Obviously, the COVID-19 risks are far lower in Holland and Germany than in the UK but it really does make you think twice about visiting the parks in the current situation. Heide Park, Efteling, Phantasialand & Europa Park all had queue times of up to and around 90 minutes today operating at "limited capacity".

Here is an account from "Noctew" on Phantafriends.de who visited Phantasialand today and says he will not be going back this season under the current regulations due to other guests disrespecting the rules and making for an unpleasant day out. It seems to me like it's only a matter of time before these parks are all forced to shut down again by their respective governments due to the rules not being enforced properly and therefore the risk of infection being too high. The principles seem good in concept but in reality a day out at a theme park at the moment provides significant risk of coronavirus.

Please bear in mind that this report is google translated so may not make sense grammatically:

"
So, I was in the park today. Was nice, was full but not overcrowded, but I will probably not go again this summer despite the club card.

Why? I feel totally fooled by my fellow guests. Hardly anyone adheres to any rules. And I do not see it as suffering for others (with the mask I protect others, not myself), if the whole thing is not returned by the generation of teenage horns "it is not so bad for me anyway", fellow citizens with a migration background "have thick pants, I'm the Sultan" attitude and even fathers who probably don't want to put their masks on their children.

First stop at Mystery Castle. I come in, waiting room almost empty - well, all mask on. Then the first group came with a mask under their nose. Okay, kept a good distance, don't say anything. Next group, mask on ... passes by waiting people, first takes selfies with the "professor". Without a mask, of course. The door opens, okay, the situation drains away, don't say anything. Places are allocated, distances are maintained, everything is great. End of the ride, hang up ... zack, everyone out at the same time.

Second station Talocan. Alone in the uncovered area directly in front of the ride a total of six people without a mask, several with incorrectly worn ones. Easy to see for the ride operator behind his window. For the employees on the ride, too, if they look in the direction. No announcement, no address ... completely incomprehensible to me. But first you have to wait every ten minutes until the seats have been disinfected - who cares? There are disinfectant dispensers at the exit. The risk of infection is clearly not on the ride but in the queue.

Third station Taron. Oh dear! Word has now got around that there is no control. Families with children with mask at half mast. Adolescents, adults. Scattered, maybe 10-20% violations. A tanned couple in their twenties completely without a grin wearing a mask; you can almost tell that he is just waiting for someone to say something so that he can mark the fat Maxen in front of the bride. At narrow points, where areas are taped so that the 1.50 must be adhered to, of course, the full width of the path is used. But at least there is still an effort to keep distances. Then everyone on the train wears a mask - hardly any mother pulls the mask off in the final brake and calls several rows back to the rest of the family. Of course, just spit on me, Uschi!

Fourth station Chiapas. The Wild West begins. At most 30% mask wearers. Keeping distance is understood to mean that, exceptionally, the length of the arm is not increased to the length of the tail (sometimes less in mixed-sex teenage groups), but instead. The employee at the boat allotment at least tries to send the group in second place 20 cm behind the first group a "waiting point" - nothing works, someone is already there. Then one boat per group. Fine, it works after you've been puffed for 45 minutes.

Fifth station of the Schauspielhaus - seat allocation well done, worked. Then the announcement that the masks have to stay open during the demonstration. Hardly finished, they are quickly down. Hi? There's crappy ventilation in there. Your mask is the only thing that protects 99 others from distributing your aerosols throughout the cinema.

After that I somehow lost my temper.

Sorry, after the experience, I almost wish that the store was shut down for a few days until the health department was presented with a concept of how the approved measures would be implemented."
 

JoshC.

Active Member
Isn't this weekend a bank holiday in much mainland Europe? That coupled with the post-lockdown freedom at least partially explains the busyness and some people's actions in overlooking social distancing.

No park will get things right first time. Some parks may need to change their capacity and change how they enforce rules. But at end of the day, it all comes down to his the public acts.
 

JammyH

Member
Isn't this weekend a bank holiday in much mainland Europe? That coupled with the post-lockdown freedom at least partially explains the busyness and some people's actions in overlooking social distancing.

No park will get things right first time. Some parks may need to change their capacity and change how they enforce rules. But at end of the day, it all comes down to his the public acts.
Yes it is a bank holiday this weekend in Germany, I'm not sure about the rest of Europe though.

My post was more addressing my concerns in the fact that the majority of guests don't seem to be sticking to the measures, rather than issues with the measures the parks have implemented. I have also read reports of groups of young people in Phantasialand getting too close to others and being asked by the person if they could keep their distance, and the "gangs" have laughed at the person or threatened them.

I'm just not sure how pleasant the experience sounds at the moment given you always have to be conscious of what's going on around you and there seems to be some really ignorant people visiting the parks who think they are better than everyone else.

EDIT:

Apparently the issue has been addressed with Phantasialand that no one is sticking to the mask requirement and their response is that it is "impossible to control constantly" and that they won't be having employees standing in the queue lines checking people are adhering to the regulations.

This contrasts to Movie Park where if someone is seen without a mask employees have actively approached guests to tell them to put the masks on. Apparently, on Star Trek, someone took their mask off before the launch on the train and the launch got cancelled/ride got e-stopped so that the staff could go and tell the guest off and make them put the mask back on.

It will be interesting to see how the measures adapt in the parks over the next few weeks. I know for example, Europa Park are always leaving a row free on the trains between groups, however now Phantasialand seem to be loading the full train on their coasters and only leaving one empty seat free between groups on flat rides, so not sure how well this complies with distancing rules!
 
Last edited:

BlueSonicHD

Member
If the people at the EU parks can’t control themselves the UK has no hope.
Reading the last few posts it’s enforced my thinking that Im really not interested about visiting a park this year.
Why go just to be stressed and disappointed ☹
 

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Apparently Merlin’s measures at Legoland & Chessington worked very well for the brief period they were open, and I’ve also heard good reports from other places, so I’d suggest that the aforementioned experience at Phantasialand may be the exception rather than the rule.
 

JammyH

Member
Apparently Merlin’s measures at Legoland & Chessington worked very well for the brief period they were open, and I’ve also heard good reports from other places, so I’d suggest that the aforementioned experience at Phantasialand may be the exception rather than the rule.
The difference is that before lockdown there was an element of fear and people were willing to comply to the new rules and measures. Merlin’s measures pre-lockdown were hardly strict compared to the measures they will be putting in post-lockdown.

The issue lies with our attitude as a society. People are now fed up of social distancing, we can see that with our every day lives and when we go to the supermarkets etc and in the parks. That’s exactly why the virus is still spreading. My main concern is when the UK parks manage to reopen(similarly for the rest of the hospitality industry) even though the measures put in are good in theory, the UK public in majority will just completely disregard any social distancing measures which will lead to higher risks of a second outbreak.

I’d love to be able to honestly put on here that I think the UK public will stick to social distancing once the parks reopen but in reality there’s no chance that the public are going to conform to the new measures. We’ve already seen a massive decrease in distancing over the last couple of weeks and that trend is likely to continue.

It just means the parks will be no fun for those of us who want to go and ride coasters and stick to the distance for everyone’s safety, because there’s going to be a constant element of stress and nervousness from people around you who are disobeying the rules.

Admittedly, Phantasialand seems to be the prime issue in terms of causing an uproar over social media about the management of the parks social distancing measures, although Europa park and Efteling have seen massive overcrowding on the pathways, although I guess while moving on a pathway there is minimal contact time compared to in a queue when there is the highest risk and therefore distancing needs to be maintained.
 

JammyH

Member
Sorry, hate to double post, but here's another google translated account of a day at one of the German parks today, this time at Europa Park.

Source: https://www.phantafriends.de/topic/...nd-corona/page/3/?tab=comments#comment-153375

"Day 3 in Rust is over now.
I already wrote that there were tons of people in the park today and the waiting times were unbearable. By the way, at 9:30 a.m. there were no more voletarium time tickets, any questions?

However, I have not yet dealt with the topic of masks and distances, for which a lot has now been written,

in the EP it is similar to in the Phl. The staff try very hard, make sure you get in, there is a sequence when getting out, etc. ... what doesn't work is most of the guests. Young people are interested in a ... for distances and only partially for nose protection.

older people often only had the thing over their mouth, but not over their nose. There was no control at all in the snakes and because eating, drinking, chatting and smooching with a mask didn't really work, many simply didn't have them open.
the distances were largely maintained. But not on the paths, everything was running all over the place.

some of the attractions were closed when the waiting area was full. Without further ado, a grape was formed in front of the attraction. This was partially dissolved, but people stayed and close. As soon as the line was opened again, crowds poured in from all directions to be in line as quickly as possible. Pure chaos, distances are absent.

In my opinion, everyone who does not wear the masks consistently should simply wave through the top of the attraction. You get a photo with your mistake and can leave the attraction. Well, you need a few cameras and a video referee for that, but that's probably the only way to do it, the same applies at intervals.

Incidentally, the virtual line did not work today either. Supposedly it worked out in the afternoon for an attraction, but we didn't test it anymore after we showed up punctually for our slot at the Euro at noon and we were then told that the system was not working at all and we should then proceed normally (with 45 minutes more waiting time). Sch ...

by the way, the worst of all were the French in terms of distance and mask ignorance. I would now be interested in whether they were actually allowed to be there ...

As a result, it can be said that the best ideas are useless if the guests don't stick to them. In part, it is also your own fault if you pump the park so full that you are stupidly in line for 60-90 minutes on the good lifts. I can understand that some people want to breathe or drink something - especially if there is still a kiosk open in the queue.
Control also in the EP in the snakes.

that has to change, or in my opinion you have to drastically limit the number of visitors to the store or close it completely if necessary. Like today, unfortunately, is really ****ty.

and again: what are the whole Corona ignoring French doing in the park ???

Tomorrow we will be driving Blue Fire, Wodan and atlantica and if the waiting times explode again we will head back to the Autobahn to NRW".
 
If you look at what’s going on in the UK already in terms of rules being ignored outdoors... I would say that if we make it as far as theme parks opening without a second spike... Then social distancing outdoors is unnecessary anyway... Because if it’s essential for keeping that R0 down, it will 100% be going up after this weekend...

For the record I don’t think it will, it seems to be so much safer outdoors, and I think governments and their scientific advisors already know this... Hence the measures chosen for easing ;) But we’ll see.
 
Top